Restoring the Sacred

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Words of Relevance: Eric Hoffer on Israel & The Double Standard

Eric Hoffer, is quoted in today's Wall Street Journal from the biography written by Tom Bethell: "Eric Hoffer: The Longshoreman Philosopher."

The quote is from 1968, but, as is true of most memorable and insightful quotes, is as relevant today as when first uttered. Hoffer discusses the double standard with which the world has always judged Israel and the Jews.  The Journal published a fairly lengthy excerpt from Bethell's biography, but this post will highlight only that which is the most timely given the current state of affairs in the Middle East.

Here's the quote:
The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews.
Others drive out thousands, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem.  Russia did it, Poland and Czechoslovakia did it.  Turkey drove out a million Greeks and Algeria a million Frenchman.  Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese - and no one says a word about refugees.
But in the case of Israel, the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees.  Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab.  Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis.